Philadelphia-San Diego: Battle of Bullpens Decides Battle of Aces
The Philadelphia Phillies defeated the San Diego Padres, 7-4 in the opener of a six game homestand. Cole Hamels got the win and evened his record at 3-3. Greg Maddux was denied his 350th career win for the second consecutive outing, after allowing three runs in six and one third innings pitched.
The Phils jumped out to an early 1-0 lead when Eric Bruntlett scored on a Ryan Howard single to left-center field. Bruntlett walked in the first as he gained a reprieve from the number eight position in the batting order to hit second against the veteran Maddux.
Bruntlett also had a hand in the Phillies second run of the game.
The shortstop singled home Jayson Werth in the third inning, after Werth tripled down the right field line. Werth’s run extended the Phils lead to 2-0.
Scott Hairston cut the Phils lead in half with a solo home run to left with two outs in the fifth, and was the only chink in Hamels’ armor until the eighth. Hairston led off the eighth with a double to center and moved to third on Josh Bard’s ground out to second. After walking pinch hitter Tony Clark, Hamels was lifted in favor of JC Romero. Romero had stranded only two of the seven runners he inherited so far this season.
With Hamels gone, the two aces had both departed and the game came down to a battle of the bullpens. The Phils trio of Romero, Tom Gordon, and Ryan Madson proved superior to the Padres trio of Cla Meredith, Glendon Rusch, and Kevin Cameron.
Gordon came on after Romero walked Brian Giles, the only batter he faced, to put runners at the corners with two outs. The Padres second run scored when Hairston crossed the plate on a RBI groundout off the bat of former Phillie Tadahito Iguchi.
The Phils added four runs in the bottom half of the eighth on four hits, including three doubles, and a walk. The bottom third of the Phillies batting order accounted for four RBI’s of the Phillies seven runs. Pedro Feliz, Carlos Ruiz, and pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs all contributed run scoring hits in the four run eighth to extend the Phils lead. The Phils offense feasted upon a Padres bullpen that is ranked last in the National League in ERA.
Ryan Madson allowed a two run home run to Hairston in the bottom of the ninth to trim the Phillies lead to 7-4, but that was as close as the Padres would get. Hairston contributed three runs batted in and three runs scored to the losing cause for San Diego.
The Phillies activated Shane Victorino from the 15-Disabled List before the game. Victorino came in as a pinch-hitter for Geoff Jenkins in the eighth inning and flied out to left. To make room for Victorino, T.J. Bohn was optioned back to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
In other player news, the Phils claimed Oscar Robles off waivers from the Padres and assigned him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. Robles is a 31-year old infielder who made his major league debut back in 2005 with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Robles appeared in 24 games with San Diego last season.
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